A new study that was done by researchers at the University of Minnesota and commissioned by data journalism website Orb has revealed the extent of microscopic-sized plastic fibers not only in the United States of America but around the world. The study was published on Orbmedia.org and is titled “Invisible: The plastic inside us” by authors Chris Tyree and Dan Morrison.

Prevalence of plastic fibers in the US and around the world

83 percent of the Tap Water samples that were tested by University of Minnesota researchers from around the world was polluted with plastic fibers.

However, it is not just tap water as researchers also found that samples of bottled water also contained them.

The amount of contamination was even higher in America, with 94 percent of tap water being affected, including in certain samples taken from the U.S. Capitol, Trump Tower and ironically enough the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In contrast to the US, only 72 percent of samples were found to be contaminated in Europe. The amount in other major cities from around the world was also high. In Quito, Educator it was 75 percent while in Jakarta, Indonesia it was 76 percent. This amount was even high in other locations as New Delhi, India had 82 percent of samples contaminated while it was a staggering 94 percent in Beirut, Lebanon.

More on these plastic fibers

According to Orb, researchers suspect that a majority of the tiny plastic fibers come from clothing, carpets, paint, dust, and upholstery used in furniture. They also believe that particles are also released by the cycling action of washing machines and dryers.

Orb also added that these plastic fibers, which are called microplastics, have been proven to take in deadly chemicals that are connected to cancer and other diseases.

These chemicals are then released into the body when eaten by humans, fish, cows, pigs and other animals.

Plymouth University researcher Richard Thompson spoke to Orb as part of their study. He said that “It became clear very early on that plastic would release those chemicals and that actually, the conditions of the gut would facilitate really quite a rapid release.”

The study by Orb also revealed that plankton, which supports the entire marine food chain, are consuming and even choking on these plastic fibers.

These main source of these fibers getting into the ocean are from synthetic clothing, as humans are also consuming these plastic fibers as they are in the world's food chain.